The PS4 is able of live streaming through popular gaming broadcasting service, Twitch, with the simple press of the share button on the console’s DualShock 4 controller. The additional PlayStation camera adds video and audio to the Twitch stream. Audio can also be captured through a mic that comes with the console.
However, it turned out that users apply those features in some other way. PS 4’s virtual-reality game “The Playroom,” which allows filming a user and then imposing onscreen, as virtual objects, so as a user or others viewing him/her can “play” with, is used to stream content that isn’t exactly gaming related. Actually, since the console’s release, there have been a few reports of couples broadcasting having sex with the PlayStation 4.
“People streaming ‘The Playroom’ are getting banned,” Reddit user beethy wrote. “A few minutes ago there was a guy having sex with his partner on the couch.”
According to the Game Revolution report, last week there was an accident where a man who goes by Darckobra used “The Playroom” to share a feed of him drinking with his wife, and then stripping her naked.
After his wife passed out he first lifted up his unconscious wife’s shirt and exposed her breast. After 15 or 16 post-boob minutes, the channel went dark briefly; upon its return, the wife was completely naked, presumably stripped by the husband.
Twitch’s terms of service specifically prohibit non-gaming content going out over its platform, so it’s paying extra-close attention to streams originating from Sony’s new console and banning offending accounts.
“FYI: We continue to moderate according to our Terms of Service. Non-gaming content is not allowed. ½”, posted video platform on its Twitter page.
Another post from Twitch stated: “Non-gaming content (c): If using PS4 Playroom, the content must be about games or gaming and within our ToS. Thanks for understanding. 2/2”
Fortunately, Twitch immediately suspended the man’s account; however, the larger problem here is that there isn’t really a way to prevent such content from getting out in the first place.
The main concern is about kids being able to see the inappropriate content. It’s common knowledge that children tend to use game consoles like the PS4 more than they do other gaming services with streaming video, like PCs, which means if people are getting naked onscreen, kids might have a higher chance of seeing. That’s an important issue, but it’s equally important to point out that if someone thought it delightful to use the service to broadcast an apparent sexual assault within the first week, Sony and Twitch may have a much bigger problem on their hands, says Slate.
The Xbox One currently doesn’t have the ability to live stream on Twitch but Microsoft has said that the service will hit the console at some point in 2014. Previously, live streaming a console game took a significant amount of technical knowledge and an expensive external capture card. Both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 make live streaming much easier to use, but with this new level of accessibility comes people who use the feature for more nefarious purposes.